5 Must-Attend Maha Shivratri Events and Festivals Across India
One of the most important festivals of Hindu culture, Maha Shivratri, honours Lord Shiva, the ultimate god also referred to as the Destroyer. Known as “the Great Night of Shiva,” Maha Shivratri takes place on the fourteenth night of the dark fortnight in the Hindu month of Phalguna. As it is Celebrated all over India, each place has its way of celebrating it, because of the cultural diversity of India, if you’re looking for some best places to celebrate your Maha Shivratri 2024, then here are five must-attend Maha Shivratri events and festivals that showcase the diverse traditions and devotion to Lord Shiva.
Checkout Some Must-Visit Destinations for Maha Shivratri 2024:
- Maha Shivratri at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
- Maha Shivratri Festival at Murudeshwar, Karnataka
- Maha Shivratri at Mandi, Himachal Pradesh
- Maha Shivratri Festival at Srikalahasti Temple, Andhra Pradesh
- Maha Shivratri in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
1. Maha Shivratri at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Varanasi, often known as “The Spiritual Capital of India,” becomes alive During Maha Shivratri. During the Maha Shivratri festival, the whole city is decorated with lights and accessories, creating a spiritual mood combining excitement and devotion. Devotees visit the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple in large numbers for prayers and to seek blessings. The Kashi Vishwanath Temple vibrates with the sounds of temple bells and the chant of “Om Namah Shivaya” throughout the day and night of the Maha Shivratri festival.
Religious Activity: Devotees perform Rudrabhishekam, which is the Shiva Lingam’s sacred bathing, cultural shows, and mythical lectures.
Cultural Activities: Dance shows, concerts of classical music, and local art exhibitions
2. Maha Shivratri Festival at Murudeshwar, Karnataka
Located on the coast of Karnataka, the Murudeshwar Temple marks Maha Shivratri with an unmatched celebration. Devotees gather at the Murudeshwar Temple during the Maha Shivratri festival to see age-old customs and rituals brought to action. The temple’s huge Shiva statue and magnificent gopuram provide a spectacular background for the celebrations. The scent of sandalwood and the constant tempo of traditional music captivate the soul.
Religious Activities: Special Pujas and Abhisheks to seek Lord Shiva’s divine blessings.
Cultural Activities: Competitions, including folk dances, rangoli contests, and traditional games.
3. Maha Shivratri at Mandi, Himachal Pradesh
Mandi, a town located in Himachal Pradesh, is the place of one of India’s most vibrant Maha Shivratri celebrations. The festival starts with prayers at Bhootnath temple, during the Maha Shivratri festival, the temples of Lord Shiva and its surroundings become active with colour, music, and celebration against the panorama of the snow-capped Himalayas. The Centuries-old “International Mandi Shivratri Fair” attracts both locals and tourists from across the world.
Activities: Exhibition of Himachali cuisine delights, traditional arts, handicrafts, spiritual gatherings, and traditional dances.
4. Maha Shivratri Festival at Srikalahasti Temple, Andhra Pradesh
During Maha Shivratri, the historic Srikalahasti Temple located in the Eastern Ghats shines with devotion. At the Srikalahasti Temple, the Maha Shivratri festival is celebrated in a symphony of ceremony and devotion. The smell of fresh flowers and the chanting of Hindu prayers soothe the soul and body. The festival brings joy and celebration to the surrounding community of the temple and enhances the spiritual experience of followers. This famous temple of Lord Shiva invites devotees seeking divine blessings and spiritual peace.
Cultural Immersion Activities: Dance performances, classical music concerts, spiritual lectures and sacred ceremonies.
5. Maha Shivratri in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
Located in the hills of Uttarakhand near the banks of the river Ganga, Rishikesh has great significance in Hindu mythology. Rishikesh becomes a popular location during the celebration of Maha Shivratri, devotees visit ancient temples like the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple and the Trayambakeshwar Temple, to perform prayers and rituals dedicated to Lord Shiva. Maha Shivratri celebrations in Rishikesh allow believers to experience Lord Shiva’s divine presence in the breathtaking Himalayan environment.
Religious Activities: Well-known saints and spiritual leaders provide enlightening lectures, special cultural events and religious teachings.
What sets Ujjain apart as a must-visit destination for Maha Shivratri?
The Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga of Ujjain is one of the 12 most sacred Shiva linga in India which is why the Maha Shivratri festival is actively celebrated in Ujjain. It is also one of the four places where the Kumbh Mela is held in every 12 years. These reasons separate Ujjain as a must-visit destination for Maha Shivratri.
Why is Haridwar a prominent venue for Maha Shivratri festivities?
Legend says that drops of Amrit, the nectar of immortality, fell on Haridwar during the epic Amrit Mantham, and this makes it a super holy place. The Ganga also flows through Haridwar adding spiritual significance, and special rituals like “Gangadarshan” (witnessing the Ganges) and “Jyotirlinga Darshan” (viewing the sacred Shiva lingam) make Haridwar prominent for the Maha Shivratri festival.
What makes Varanasi a significant destination for Maha Shivratri celebrations?
Well, Varanasi is known as the spiritual capital of India and is believed to be Shiva’s special home. Because of its religious location, grand celebrations, the legendary “Shiv Baraat,” vibrant decorations all over the city, all these things make Varanasi, a perfect destination for Maha Shivratri 2024.
What are the must-attend Maha Shivratri events and festivals across India?
However, Maha Shivratri is celebrated across India and each place has its unique way of celebrating it. But the Maha Shivratri festival at Kashi Vishwanath Temple(Varanasi), Nilkanth Mahadev Temple, (Haridwar), and International Maha Shivratri Fair(Mandi) are some of the must-attend Maha Shivratri festivals.